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Relating to the prosecution of and punishment for the criminal offense of failure to report certain sexual offenses committed against a child; increasing criminal penalties.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
Currently, the Class A misdemeanor offense of failure to stop or report aggravated sexual assault of a child involves observing the commission or attempted commission of continuous sexual abuse or aggravated sexual assault of a child younger than 14 years of age, and failing to assist the child or report the commission of the offense.
HB 1357 would replace this offense with the state fail felony offense of failure to report certain sexual offenses committed against a child. This bill would make it an offense for a person age 18 or older who knows that another person has committed any of the following offenses, and fails to immediately report the commission of the offense to a law enforcement agency or to the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS): (1) trafficking of persons; (2) continuous trafficking of persons; (3) continuous sexual abuse of a young child or children; (4) indecency with a child; (5) sexual assault of a child; (6) aggravated sexual assault of a child; (7) compelling prostitution; or (8) sexual performance by a child.
The penalty would be enhanced to a third degree felony if it is shown at trial that the actor also engaged in conduct intended to hinder the investigation or prosecution of the sexual offense against a child. It would be a second degree felony if the actor engaged in that conduct, the person who committed the sexual offense against a child commits a subsequent sexual offense against a child, and the actor's failure to report the sexual offense enabled or facilitated the person's commission of the subsequent offense.